Officials at the City of Augusta, Georgia, have been noted by Mayor Garnett Johnson to have not communicated with the BlackByte ransomware operation that took credit for a cyberattack against the city that commenced on May 21, according to The Record, a news site by cybersecurity firm Recorded Future.
Augusta had been demanded to pay a $2 million ransom by BlackByte on May 25 but the city noted the following day that it has not received any demand. BlackByte then threatened on June 4 that it would release all 70GB of data stolen from Augusta. Investigation into the extent of the attack is still underway but the Augusta has since restored several city systems and its 311 service although disruptions continue at its tax commissioner's office.
"Augusta remains committed to taking all appropriate actions to notify any impacted individuals identified, once a determination is made. Our Information Technology Department has executed a path forward to restoration, which has allowed Augusta to continue to serve our residents and visitors, despite our technology challenges," said city officials.
SiliconAngle reports that ransomware attacks against the educational sector have significantly increased from 2018 to 2022 and are expected to reach a record high this year, with 85 attacks recorded during the first half of 2023 being almost two times higher than the same period in 2022.